The Morning’s Second Artificial Sunrise D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0253-0330 Zulu

0253 Zulu– Romanov’s hotline message is summarized for President Reagan and his advisers in the Situation Room by the MOLINK duty officer. The general secretary explains that a direct response to the ‘unprovoked NATO nuclear attack on a Soviet military base in the GDR’ will be launched within minutes. He does not understand the purpose behind NATO’s earlier strike but proposes an immediate ceasefire. Romanov’s message then warns that any further use of nuclear weapons by NATO will bring on an ‘escalatory retaliation against US forces outside of the European theater.’

0257 Zulu– A single SS-21 Scarab-a  is launched from 20th Guards Army’s rear area near the Inner-German Border. Three minutes later a single 45 kt warhead airbursts 2000 meters near the I NL Corps rear area west of Schwienau.

0305 Zulu– After receiving confirmation that the attack was successful, General Secretary Romanov starts the Politburo meeting.

0310 Zulu- The meeting in the White House continues. After learning of the tactical nuclear attack against I NL Corps, President Reagan wants to establish a conference with other NATO leaders. The Joint Chiefs, however, along with his own Secret Service detail pressure him to wait on the conference until he is airborne on NEACP. The E-4B was awaiting his arrival at Andrews AFB  and the first of HMX-1’s helicopters is just touching down on the south lawn. Reluctantly, Reagan agrees and is hurriedly rushed to the elevator.

0322 Zulu– Romanov’s news polarizes the Politburo, predictably. His supporters praise the general secretary for fulfilling his promise of bringing the war to an honorable conclusion. His opponents, on the other hand remain skeptical and rightfully so. Vladimir Dolgikh congratulates Romanov and then reminds him that the war is not yet over. A ceasefire needs to be agreed to. Romanov then informs the Politburo that he is awaiting a response from President Reagan on the hotline and Foreign Minister Gromyko is ready to start the process towards negotiations immediately. Dolgikh is pessimistic and KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov silently concludes to himself that Romanov is not being entirely open and honest about what is taking place.

0325 Zulu– The E-4B lifts off from Andrews Air Force Base with President Reagan and a handful of his senior advisers on board. Once airborne, the heavily converted 747 command plane wheels southeast towards airspace over the Virginia Capes. Reagan contacts Brussels and orders SACEUR to provide a list of target choices for retaliation. He then draws up his response to Romanov’s initial hotline message.

Author’s Note: Sorry for cutting this one short, but time became an issue today. Next post will be up Sunday evening and will include a hearty helping of details and information about the tactical nuclear strike on I Netherlands Corps in Northern Germany.

10 Replies to “The Morning’s Second Artificial Sunrise D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0253-0330 Zulu”

    1. That’s a good question. I am not sure there were ground teams available for NATO back then but I’ll have to check and see


  1. Welp-

    Time for pre-attack drill. Dig a deep hole, get in, place head between legs…

    There may be a neat conclusion, but CW in the late 80s was “one flies, they all fly”.
    I guess it will come down to how quick the west can get the truth out and how willing they are to take the hit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Regan will order a counter force strike against all Warsaw Pact WMD weapons and delivery systems.
    They have used them first on multiple occasions and now a false flag to justify another use to start negotiations.
    If they don’t go as the Soviet’s want they will escalate again.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know we’re already on the next post, but I would think the Soviets would react to decapitating their theater WMDs as a prelude to larger and deeper strikes. And…well, we all know what happens then. So I think whatever happens in the “next few minutes” it will be more or less proportional.

        Is Snetkov about to die, I wonder?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. I’m trying to kick it up a notch but it hasn’t been too successful. Luckily, I have some free time ahead and should be able to pick up the pace considerably


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